Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today condemned reported bombings of three villages in Darfur by the Sudanese military.

The BBC has quoted rebel commanders stating that three villages had been hit over the weekend. African Union forces have been sent to the area to investigate the claims.

“If the Sudanese government once again has bombed villages full of civilians, the international community has no alternative but to act swiftly and without any qualms,” Lantos said. “How long are we to sit back and allow the wanton taking of innocent civilian lives without Khartoum feeling some consequences?”

Lantos cosponsored the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006 that was signed into law by President Bush in October 2006. The bill included a provision for NATO to provide assets to help dissuade and deter air strikes directed against civilians and humanitarian workers in the Darfur region of Sudan.

“The U.S. government has stated clearly that NATO assets could be deployed to incapacitate Sudanese aircraft used to slaughter innocent civilians,” Lantos said. "Should these recent reports of attacks be confirmed, there would be no better time for the United States to show that we mean what we say about ending the genocide in Darfur."

Indiscriminate bombing of civilian-occupied villages in Darfur has been a major tactic of warfare in the genocidal campaign against civilians and the rebel forces. The brutality of the current war in Darfur has displaced more than 2 million people, forced an estimated 234,000 into refugee camps in Chad, and killed an estimated 450,000 people.